Around Eveline Oehrlich from Research In Action in 10 questions

Eveline Oehrlich / Research In Action

Today’s IIAR> Around in 10 questions interview is with Eveline Oehrlich / (@eoehrlich, LinkedIn) Research DirectorResearch In Action, who researches IT Automation.

1. What are your coverage areas?
IT Automation which includes modern DevOps topics such as Value Stream Management, AIOps, Continuous Everything plus traditional topics such as IT Service Management and topics around Enterprise Service Management. 

2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
It depends on from what perspective. 1) From the buyer side (those leaders and decision makers in IT organizations who need to understand the automation trends, adoption, best practices etc.) there is tremendous demand for an assimilation and analysis of the various available IT automation solutions which for little investment solve all the problems in a short time.
2) From the seller (vendor) side (those product managers, marketing leaders and executives who are selling IT Automation solutions to the buyers): there is a tremendous amount of messaging, marketing, and details which in many cases misses the actual values the buyer side is looking for or there is a tremendous overstatement of capabilities. The balancing of these two sides and to help understand what buyers need and what vendors keeps this analysis space alive. 

3. What’s your typical day like?
As my work is focused on understanding a topic from both the buyer and vendor side, I typically am engaged in conversations or analysis on both fronts. I gain vendor knowledge through briefings and conversations with smart people at the vendor side and the buyer side I analyze and decipher survey data which we leverage to get baselines for vendor evaluations. The rest of the day is filled out with applying the learnings into deliverables of presentations, written digital documents or strategy conversations inside or outside our company. 

4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
The worst is when on a briefing, the vendor has prepared slides for the competition (typically one of the big 3 IT Market Research companies) and they don’t notice it until the end of the meeting. 

5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? I am a business partner to Research In Action and the company earns report reprint license revenues from vendors. With my other business partner, DevOps Institute, I am responsible for the research creation, strategy, content around key topics for DevOps leaders and practitioners which is published for our members.  

6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less? 
We survey IT Automation software decision makers on a regular basis. From there, the vendor landscapes are augmented via primary research through briefings and discussions with vendors and providers. My experience around analysis, ability to understand the bigger picture and additional research work helps me in providing value to my clients and vendors in writing or conversations. 

7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
Attending a customer event where there are key customers (maybe a customer advisory board or alike), with key executives (decision makers which can make decisions) and a key focus area to discuss the different perspectives of customer, vendor and analyst are fantastic and great learnings for all. I attended such an event as part of a Micro Focus event right after HPE Software was acquired by Micro Focus. It was beneficial for all attendees on many fronts.  

8. What are your offerings and key deliverables? 
Through briefings and survey work we understand market trends, inputs on strategy and execution capabilities of vendors on a key focus area and leverage that for publishing of Vendor Selection Matrices™. I also leverage my knowledge and strategic thinking when I connect with vendors to point them towards strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Sometimes I tell them things they do not like but if I don’t, customers will.  

9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
I love to cook and always try new recipes on my family and friends…and they keep coming back. My dream still is to open a small breakfast restaurant in South France but that will have to wait. 

10. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?

While there are many analysts I look up to, there is one I especially have been looking up to and still do. Jean-Pierre Garbani was one of my coaches when I joined Forrester in 2006. Our first report was titled „Champagne Monitoring On A Beer Budget “…the title says it all as he is originally from France and I am German. He is thoughtful, analytical, always has great perspective and suggestions for our team, me, our work and the vendors and customers we served…and he loves good food and wine.   

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